The beginning of June found most of the Order in Grimmauld Place once again, along with the Trio, Neville, and Ginny. Fred and George popped in from time to time. Harry and Ron walked into the living room and found Molly and Remus arguing over some type of spell.
"I'm telling you, Molly, I am right!" Remus shouted from his couch.
"You are not, Remus!" she exclaimed back from her end of the room.
"Would both of you stop?" Hermione said, clearly frustrated at the way they were acting, as she came walking into the room. "This is not good for your recovery! Madam Pomfrey said you needed peace and quiet." She set down a tray of tea and poured some for both of them.
"You're right, Hermione. I'm sorry, Molly," Remus said, taking his cup.
"I'm sorry too," she said quietly. "Hermione...I do wish that I could do something to help in the kitchen. Are you sure that Minerva is alright in there?"
"Yes, Mrs. Weasley. Dinner is almost ready. Would you like to eat in here or at the table?"
"The table!" both she and Remus said quickly. The kids smiled at each other. They knew that these two members of the Order did not like being cooped up on the couch all day.
The Trio made their way into the kitchen where they found Minerva conjuring up some vegetables for dinner.
"They want to eat in here, Professor," Hermione told her.
Minerva turned and smiled slightly. "I figured they would. Would you go round up everyone. This should be done in about five minutes."
"We'll do it," Ron said as he and Harry left the kitchen. They were about to go upstairs to get Ginny and Neville when they heard a crash from the kitchen. They hurried back in and saw Hermione and Minerva picking up a plate.
"Alright Hermione?" Ron asked.
"It was my fault. I dropped it," Minerva said. She tried to put the plate back together but it didn't seem to be working. Hermione put it back together and set the plate on the counter.
"Professor, why don't you go rest for awhile. I can finish this. You seem tired," she said.
"I'm quite alright, Miss Granger," Minerva said smartly.
"Of course, Professor. I just wanted to make sure Professor Dumbledore would not get upset that you haven't gotten much rest today," Hermione said quietly.
The boys stifled grins as they saw the change on Minerva's face. Albus had been at the Ministry all day, trying to work out some things with the Minister. He had made her promise to rest because of the trouble she had sleeping the night before. She knew he would be upset, just as Hermione had said, if he came back and she was exhausted again. She sighed and relented.
"Alright, but call me if you need something," she said, heading towards the door.
"We will, Professor," Harry said.
Minerva walked towards the steps and began to ascend them when a twinge in her back made her stop in her tracks. She hung on to the banister for support and waited for the pain to pass. Neville and Ginny were coming down the steps at the same time.
"Professor, are you alright?" Ginny asked.
"Yes, thank you Miss Weasley. I believe dinner is ready for all of you," she replied, allowing the two to pass her.
"You're sure, Professor?" Ginny asked again, worry in her eyes.
Minerva nodded and started up the steps once again. Ginny and Neville walked into the living room to help Molly and Remus up.
"Who were you talking to dear?" Molly asked as Ginny supported her arm walking into the kitchen.
"Professor McGonagall. She doesn't look well," Ginny said.
"What?" Molly asked, her motherly instincts kicking in.
"I asked if she was alright but she said that she was fine."
Molly looked at Remus and he nodded. "We need Poppy," he said quietly.
Albus took the note from the owl that was insistently pecking his arm. He read it and dropped his pen. The other men in the room looked at him quickly and noticed something was wrong.
"Albus," Arthur began, "is everything alright?"
"I am afraid that I have business I need to attend to immediately. Gentleman, please, continue with the discussion," he said, getting up out of his chair.
Arthur had a feeling he knew what was going on. He had never seen Albus' eyes show fear except when it dealt with Minerva. He just hoped that she and the baby would make it through this alright.
Poppy flew into the fireplace and quickly shook herself off. All of the teen-agers were sitting in the kitchen with worried looks on their faces.
"Where is she?"
"Upstairs with Mum and Remus," Ginny said quickly.
Poppy didn't even ask what was going. She rushed up the steps and into Minerva's bedroom. "Minerva...oh no..."
Tapping fingers were stopped quickly as Ron put his hand over Hermione's. "Hermione, it won't help to worry."
"We haven't heard anything for three hours!"
"Well, when Mum had Ginny, it took a long time if I remember right," he said, trying to be helpful.
"Really?" she asked, gaining a little bit of hope.
"What I'm wondering is where Professor Dumbledore is. We sent him the owl a long time ago. He should be here by now," Harry said, looking out the window.
"Maybe he couldn't get away," Neville put in.
All fears of Albus' whereabouts came to a close as he appeared in the kitchen.
"Professor! Where were you? Are you alright?"
"Yes, Miss Granger. I am fine. I had to take many precautions in getting back here tonight. Is Minerva alright?"
"Madam Pomfrey is here and upstairs with Mum and Remus," Ginny told him.
"And the baby?" he asked, a little worry filling his voice.
"We haven't heard anything yet, Professor," Harry replied.
Albus nodded. "Are you all alright down here?"
They all nodded and he smiled slightly. "Please don't worry. If I know Minerva, she's probably yelling at all of them to leave her alone and let her do this by herself. She will be fine," he said, aiming his comments mostly at Ginny and Hermione, knowing how worried they were. "I will send someone down to report to you all periodically. Thank you for the note."
And with that, he too rushed up the steps.
"Poppy," he asked, four long hours later, "she take this much longer."
Minerva had fallen into a restless sleep, waking every once in awhile when a contraction would hit. Molly and Remus had left to sit with the teens for awhile.
"Albus, I can't do anything. The baby has to come on its own time. It's good that she's resting now."
"She doesn't show that she's in pain, but I know it must be excrutiating," he said, eyeing her worridly. She moved slightly and with every single action, his eyes followed her.
Poppy touched his arm gently. "She'll be alright, Albus. She's strong. And she wants this baby more than anything else. Let her rest now and she'll be ready when the baby is. Albus..."
He looked from Minerva over to Poppy.
"Believe me. Min will be alright!"
He nodded but was still not convinced.
Hermione's head lifted off of Ron's shoulder the next morning after she was awoken by an unfamiliar sound. She listened again and a gigantic smile crossed her face. She shook Ron furiously.
"Ron! Wake up, wake up!"
"Wh...what is it?" he asked, rubbing his eyes and yawning widely.
Everyone else, having heard Hermione, listened as well. After a few seconds they heard it again.
"Come on!" Harry exclaimed as they all dashed for the staircase.
"And just where do you think you're going?" a frazzled looking Molly Weasley asked, blocking their advance up the staircase.
"We thought we heard..." Ginny began as Molly put her hand up.
"Enough said. I have to go get some things in the kitchen. Go on up, but knock first and for heaven's sake, be quiet about it!"
She let them through and as soon as she was out of view, they finished running up the steps. They knocked on Minerva's bedroom door and it was opened by Madam Pomfrey.
"We were wondering when you lot would be up here. Come in, come in, just be quiet," she said, ushering the five teen-agers into the dimly lit room.
They quietly entered the room and each gasped at the scene in front of them. Albus was sitting on the side of the bed, holding a tiny baby in his right arm. With his left hand, he was holding on to Minerva's hand. She smiled at them weakly. Albus stood and let go of her hand.
"I believe you Gryffindors have not met our daughter."
Hermione and Ginny had to conceal their squeals as Albus brought the little bundle over to them. The little Dumbledore was very tiny but had a head full of auburn hair. She was sleeping peacefully with her little hand curled around Albus' finger.
"She's beautiful," Hermione spoke quietly.
"She's kinda small," Ron said as Ginny elbowed him in the side.
"Newborns usually are, Ron," Remus said, chuckling, from the corner of the room.
"How are you feeling, Professor?" Neville asked timidly.
"I'm just fine, Neville," Minerva said, smiling as Albus brought the little girl back over to the bed and handed her to her mother.
"What's her name?" Harry asked as Albus motioned for them to come closer to the bed.
"Well, we have just decided but we actually would like your approval, Harry," Albus said, looking directly at the young wizard.
The shock was evident on Harry's face. "M..my approval? Whatever for?"
"We were hoping to name her Lillian Grace...and call her Lily," Albus explained.
Harry could feel his emotions welling up inside of him. He didn't want to cry in front of anyone but he had never been so touched. He looked from Albus to Minerva who was looking at him, hope and tears filling her eyes.
"You don't need my approval," Harry explained softly. "I'd be honored to have her called Lily."
The new parents smiled at their students and then down at their new daughter. No matter how bad the circumstances surrounding the house were, the room was warm, comfortable, and filled with love, and most importantly, joy.